Case Study:  New Composting Program Boosts
 Waste Diversion
The U.S. Navy's Naval Station Great Lakes, near Waukegan, Illinois,
increased its amount of materials recycled by an astounding 114
percent by initiating a campaign to add a composting component,
reuse construction and demolition debris, and increase the number
of collection bins available throughout the installation. The
composting project alone amounted to more than 300 tons of food
scrap and landscape waste diverted from area landfills.

NSGL took an aggressive and multi-faceted approach to raising its
diversion rate. Active participation of employees and trainees to
maximize collection and minimize contamination of recyclables by
trash was critical. NSGL worked to carefully tailor its communication
to a military audience, educating on the importance of recycling as
it related to domestic and foreign policy. In addition, NSGL asked
their recycling and composting vendors to track and report tonnage
of material produced at each collection point. This encouraged a
friendly competition for increasing recycling and food waste
tonnage collected among areas of the facility. Along with collecting
food waste for composting from the five galleys (cafeterias), NSGL
switched to using biodegradable  plates, cutlery and napkins to
further reduce materials sent to a landfill.
 Naval Station Great Lakes — "The Quarterdeck of the Navy."
 Sustainable Materials Management
 Federal Green  Challenge
                                                   Key Topics

                                                    • Food waste composting.

                                                    • Recycling.


                                                    • 114 percent increase in
                                                      materials recycled.

                                                    • Initiation of new food
                                                      composting program.

                                                   •  300 tons of food scrap
                                                      and landscape waste

                                                   Facility at a Glance

                                                    • The Navy's largest training
                                                      station, located on 1,600
                                                      acres in north suburban

                                                    • A small city with galleys, gas
                                                      stations, a harbor and public
                                                      works department.

                                                    • 20,000 to 30,000 military
                                                      and civilian personnel on the
                                                      station at any time.

                                                    • Participant since 2011 in the
                                                      FGC waste, transportation
                                                      and water categories.

                                                    • Recipient of EPA Region 5
                                                      FGC Award: Waste.
United States
Environmental Protection

Waste Diversion  Boosted
 Garnering the support of Navy's senior officers and
 managers was crucial to the success of the
 recycling and composting programs. The
 commanding officer is provided quarterly status
 reports with tonnages of material recycled at each
 collection point. With high-level support for the
 materials management program established early,
 the changes were more easily integrated through
 the chain of command.
 NSGL sustainability team from left to right: Peter
 Behrens, Paul Stoick, MarkSchultz, Matthew
 Wollert, Sr., Matthew Wollert, Jr., Norm Lucas,
 Robert Walleck, Robert VanBendegom, Cora
 Mata, Mark Hoyer.
 NSGL faced numerous challenges in the
 implementation of its new programs, the largest
 being financing the composting program. While the
 recycling program is self-funded through the sale of
 recyclable material, the market for composted
 materials is inconsistent and must be closely
 monitored. By working with its composting vendor,
 NSGL was able to reduce the cost of compost
 collection to the price of trucking materials from the

Why is Composting Waste Important?

Compost has the ability to help regenerate poor soils. The
composting process encourages the production of
beneficial micro-organisms (mainly bacteria and fungi)
which in turn  break down organic matter (food and
landscape wastes) to create humus. Humus—a rich
nutrient-filled  material—increases the nutrient content in
soils and helps soils retain moisture. Compost has also
been shown to  suppress plant diseases  and pests,
reduce or eliminate the need for chemical fertilizers,
and promote higher yields of agricultural crops.
  About the Federal Green Challenge

  The Federal Green Challenge, part of EPA's Sustainable Materials
  Management Program, is designed to challenge federal agencies
  throughout the country to lead by example in reducing the federal
  government's environmental impact. It helps agencies meet obligations
  under Executive Orders 13514 and 13423.
  In 2012, nearly 300 federal agencies, representing more than 500,000
  employees participated in the Federal Green Challenge. Their combined
  efforts resulted in an estimated cost savings of more than $31 million to
  U.S. taxpayers.
                 For More

                 U.S. Navy NSGL contact:

                 Matt Wollert
                 847-688-6934, Ext. 11

                 Federal Green Challenge:
Region 5, Land and Chemicals Division, Materials Management Branch
February 2014